Meet The "Labor Pool" - The Greek Version Of The Permanent Paid Vacation

Tyler Durden's picture

Moments ago, members of the Greek government, which likely won't last long once the thorny issue of "math" returns and not even selling Bills to local banks (which promptly repo said Bills back to the Greek central bank) so the country can fund its payment to the ECB via an ECB guaranteed ELA payment from a Greek central Bank (confused yet) satisfies the New Normal ponzi math, made a strong statement: the country will not let any more public workers go:


The reason for this pledge is obvious: the last thing the country's new rulers need is more anger in the ranks as people demand a new government, which in turn will bring back Drachma redenomination risk. So what is the Greek solution instead? Simple: enter the labor pool, or the Greek version of the Permanent Paid Vacation, or akin to America's 99 weeks of unemployment benefits.

From the WSJ:

Greece may have to place thousands of public workers in a special labor pool at reduced pay to help achieve as much as €4 billion ($4.95 billion) in spending cuts demanded by international creditors, a politically risky move for the fragile coalition government.


Athens has yet to finalize a significant amount of the cuts that are part of an overall €11.5 billion austerity package demanded by international creditors, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said Tuesday, and the government is considering setting up a special labor reserve pool for public-sector workers to help meet that goal.


Among the thorny issues the new coalition government has yet to resolve in its bid to streamline the public sector is a previous commitment to place tens of thousands of public-sector workers in a special labor reserve at reduced pay—a move that many see as a step toward outright layoffs.


"The numbers are not easy to find; the €11.5 billion is a significant number and we are not there yet. We are short by about €3.5 billion to €4 billion," Mr. Stournaras told reporters after meeting with President Karolos Papoulias to brief him on economic developments and recent meetings with the troika of Greece's international creditors—the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Of course, this being Greece, means that the plan to pseudo-fire government workers will be an epic failure:

Under the latest bailout program, Greece has committed to shedding some 15,000 public workers by the end of this year. Previous efforts to create a labor pool, under which 30,000 workers would have been laid off, fell well short of targets. In the end, only 1,000 were put in that pool, while 9,000 civil servants took early retirement.


Mr. Stournaras said there will be no compulsory public-sector layoffs, though he said plans for the labor reserve pool are still being considered. "On the issue of the labor reserve pool, we will see. The negotiations are continuing and will continue until the end of August," he added.

In the meantime, everyone is on vacation, most likely somewhere in Santorini (the Goldman bankers on location call it "due diligence" and get everything expensed).

The troika is to return to Athens in early September to finalize its review of the Greek economy and assess if the country's delayed reform plan is on track, after back-to-back elections in May and June created a period of political limbo, before giving the green light on the next tranche of bailout money.

Just as certain as the labor pool program being a failure is that the Troika will find the total collapse in the economy being even total-er. But by then Greece will be on its own, allowed to funds itself via the same convoluted ponzi mechanism we described in the beginning, where week after week, the country will exhaust all eligible collateral available for ELA purposes, only the have the ECB allow the Greek Central Bank to finally accept salt water in exchange for euros.

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francis_sawyer's picture

 "Shovel Ready Projects" 2008 = Give my cronies some jobs

 "Shovel Ready Projects" (2012 & beyond) = Put 'em [dissenters] in the ground

malikai's picture

I wonder how many of those public sector workers are police.

Ahmeexnal's picture

Germans have always been good sheeple. They always follow orders withouth questioning.

The latest proof is absolutely stunning:

A German driver decided on Tuesday that he wouldn't be needing his brain anymore now that he had a satnav. Despite signs signalling a dead end, he drove straight into some road works. He told police he was just following orders.

This is why they refused to change their hyperinflated reichsmarks to gold/dollars in 1923, despite warnings by their jewish neighbors/friends. The german sheeple followed orders from their government who told them "this is only temporary, we are already on the way to recovery. hold on to your reichmarks. hope and change!".

And this is also why the german sheeple will once again go down the tubes while the german imperial elite laugh their way to the bank.

And in an interesting twist of events, Turkey has now become the land of opportunities for those in Germany:

The Turkish economy is the envy of the crisis-wracked eurozone: its gross domestic product (GDP) has expanded by an annual average 5.4 percent over the past 10 years. Its public debt has fallen below 40 percent of GDP, much lower than the majority of European countries. And inflation, which was once dizzyingly high, is now under control.

Jumbotron's picture

The American Sheeple did the same thing when they allowed there elected representatives give their Constituionaly mandated right to mint coin and control the worth of it to private bankers.

Just because the bankers told them it would be better if they handled those things.


magpie's picture

Greece needs a TSA with checkpoints at every corner.

MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

The Germans could organise that for them.

Outsourcing, bitchez!

StychoKiller's picture

Greek economic collapse, "it's the totaliest!" :>D

Cranios's picture

Well... isn't that pretty much the same plan that the USA has been on for the entire Obama Administration period?

Cranios's picture

...except that we don't get salt water in exchange for FRNs?


Dr. Richard Head's picture

And the Greeks sold off their lottery.  Here in Amerika, each state is starting up casinos in each city as to be sold later on in our liquidation.

Global Hunter's picture

They'll try to make up the difference by deporting illegal aliens starting yesterday.  Not a very subtle or complicated plan, doubt it will work as they intend I can predict that much.

Haager's picture

Let them build the Autobahn...

No Euros please we're British's picture

So now as well as Germans paying to holiday in Greece, we have Germans paying for Greeks to holiday in Greece! Bullish for beach towels.

Thisson's picture

I hear there are some really nice spiderman ones available.

WALLST8MY8BALL's picture

Save that 100 Euronote beach towel - could become a collectors item!


Winston Churchill's picture

With matching curtains and duvet covers.

I know when I lived in Athens a long ago,I could never figure out if

anyone was working.

Hasn't changed much then.

MillionDollarBoner_'s picture

Cultural difference in the definition of "working".

Fixed it for ya ;o)

orca's picture

Robert Mugabe smiles.

mewenz's picture


yep, the Ecb and Fed are both following the same simple 2 pronged plan to keept their zombie oligarchic "banking" (to believe it is really about banking in a traditional efficient allocation of captial sense would be a bit of a stretch) systems alive behind all the public theatre

- Inflate asset values as much as possible while attempting to keep the collateral damage in check to some degree

- to the extent that they are limited on the asset inflation, prong 2 is quite well said by the closing quote, and the Fed isn't / won't be immune to it either...

"...only the have the ECB allow the Greek Central Bank to finally accept salt water in exchange for euros."

kevinearick's picture

Trinity:  Hope, Education, & Best Practice

From the perspective of physics, 5X + 4Y is not equal to (20X + 16Y) / 4, because gravity will act on each differently, in time.

The middle class squeals for equality and accepts artificial diversity, all colors entering the factory, and coming out ordered by shape, by choice, seeking an equal share in the distribution of your fruit, as promised by agency, after giving capital its cut. What certifications do you have in your wallet?

In each snapshot, the distribution incrementally moves forward, relative to itself, until it doesn’t, as the empire replicates your work, for distribution through the best business practice pipeline, which is all the reptiles have, shorting itself back in time, relative to the expanding unknown horizon. Nature sees itself, life emerging from gravity.

Capital moves the herd into the drought-stricken areas again, suddenly flush with energy and illegal immigrants, hoping you will participate, to maintain control and reboot its economy with new technology. Surprise, surprise, capital cannot create economic profit, and it hopes beyond hope that the technology emerging from the process is not the same as the technology entering it.

The Israelites are chosen alright, for those who seek a bipolar world of bipolar people, to sell it weapons and rent it military, in a self-fulfilling prophesy of death. The church is but agency in low gear, separating the initial herd into divide and conquer camps, which suits nature, and you, if you keep your distance ahead of the black hole.

Physics tells you that you are never going to transform a robot into a human by choice, and to the extent you try, you will fall back in time, becoming part of the herd. Practice your own religion, and watch the empire hunt you, with more and more robots. The more variables you add, beyond the focus of empire bandwidths, the more you charge the battery.

Gather children in a group and play the Pavlov tape. Observe how the reptiles look at the other children, and notice the location of the kids watching the reptiles. Have you noticed what is going on in Obamaville, Chicago?

Israel serves a purpose, for economies of scale. The Nazis may have been bred to pull the lever, in early childhood education, which was never brought to Court, but the Jews killed the Jews, in the Monetary Pavlov Swap. Madoff is anything but an anomaly, as the present State demonstrates, over and over again.

Why is government so determined to track you and define your identity accordingly? The reptile’s advantage is that it may copy and replicate behavior from all over the world. Your advantage is that you are unique. Don’t give up your advantage for a few pieces of silver and expect not to become part of the machine, robots replicating robots. Cultivate your culture, across artificial empire borders, with the empire’s sunk costs.

Government education teaches children that life is about getting a prize for doing something they don’t want to do, so, naturally, everything becomes something children do not want to do and the prize is never big enough. Heaven forbid you enjoy what you do, because they must destroy your example, lest their rigged ponzi lottery system collapse.

The poorer the parent, the better the pay, to leave education to government. Surprise, surprise, the population gets dumber and its currency devolves into bankruptcy extortion, first in spirit, then in intellect, and finally in body. By all means, encourage children to stay in school, or throw them in jail for non-compliance.

When the ship sinks, the order of survival is crew, captain, men, women, and children. Some kids are just thoughtful enough not to take the mythology of women and children first to heart. The first to accept ponzi peer pressure as law is the crew, the captain is from another sunk ship, and the rest have no idea that the ship is specifically designed to sink, with as many on board as possible, in debt prison.

The shortest path on paper is never the shortest path, because your frame of reference changes with new experiences. Expediency is always a critical error. Don’t follow the herd and expect not to get slaughtered, because the mistake always catches up to you and you will always replicate it, with increasing pressure on decreasing space.

If the earth is spinning on an axis, why is it that you can walk in any direction? Funny, Facebook craps out and the rat holes in California start bubbling to the surface. When the elevator functions properly, the building revolves, the curtain of false assumptions falls, and you are where you belong, on time.

The Bible is a key and a lock, to ponzi demographic economics, depending upon your perspective, the assumptions you accept or reject. Seek the unknown, in your own way, in your own time. The problem is the solution, relative to the frontier. The world is what you make of it, aggregated. Carve a line through History to suit you, and learn to make your own way in life, as an example to your children.

It’s big wave time. Hopefully, you have been practicing effectively, rather than efficiently. The rails are just guidelines on the explicit side of the operation.

shovelhead's picture

Could be a face-eater.

Don't get close to this one.


vertexa's picture


Life In Greece Since The Recession Began

The recession here really started in 2008, while the austerity measures began after May 2010, when the insolvency problem was made public and call for EU and IMF supprt help was made. Every goverment here, and as long as I can remember, claimed that will fight tax evasion which is a plague for our finances. What they end up doing lately is applying more taxes to the 40% that do not tax-evade and horizontally reduce wages of pentioners and public servants.


pd45's picture


Very sad. I can't even imagine the destruction caused by 5 years of negative GDP.  Worst, there's no end in sight.  It just looks like the politicians and ECB are slowly and sadistically strangling the Greeks.


As we watch this crime unfold, let us all be fully aware that it can happen anywhere.


o Don’t let the bankers tempt us with easy credit.

o Don’t vote for politician offering us ‘help’.

o Don’t patronize or invest in businesses engaged in crony capitalism.

o Be as independent and self-reliant as possible.

o Help the needy.


And teach your kids the same.



Jumbotron's picture

If you are an unemployed Greek who finds himself on a nude beach with a stunning, naked Greek babe beside you......

Blow a kiss to and thank Angela Merkel.  ACHTUNG BABY !!!!



Joebloinvestor's picture





Greece, the lamprey eel of the EU.

q99x2's picture

The Permanent Paid Vacation.

I'm all for that. It works if you work it.

pashley1411's picture

Kind of an interesting social experiment, the 100% welfare state.   Imports - whatever it can get its hands on.    Exports - you must be joking.   

If you compared it to, for example, Vatican State, at least those guys had to go to Mass every once in a while.    What exactly do you do in a welfare state, work on your tan?

canardo's picture

I was thinking the same thing. This is a socialists' wet dream. Everybody works for the government, everybody on a basic income, should be nirvana, right? I guess what you do depends on your character, or lack thereof. We should have scientists in there who do nothing but observe and take notes.

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Wasn't a condition of the bailouts implementing big public sector layoffs?  If the Greeks don't go forward with layoffs, hasn't the Troika promised to cut them off?  I'm guessng that as the cash runs low and time gets close for the Troika to cut another check, Greek politicians will flip flop, and say "Ok, yes, we'll do the layoffs", with a wink, wink, nod, nod to the Greek public employees that they don't really mean it.  "We just need to lie to those filthy German bastards, so they'll give us some more money to pay your salaries."  Once the check clears, it will be back to no layoffs.